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Judge Xiomara Davis-Gumbs
FY 2018 - 2023, Dallas Immigration Court

Published Oct 19, 2023

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Davis-Gumbs to begin hearing cases in January 2016. Judge Davis-Gumbs earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York and a Juris Doctor in 1992 from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. From 2008 through 2015, Judge Davis-Gumbs served in the Office of the Chief Counsel, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Dallas, in various capacities including deputy chief counsel, and previously as associate counsel, Central Law Division, and as associate counsel, Training and Knowledge Management Division. From 2002 through 2008, Judge Davis-Gumbs served as assistant chief counsel in the Office of Principal Legal Advisor, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS, in Newark, N.J. From 1997 through 2002, Judge Davis-Gumbs served as an asylum officer in the Office of International Affairs, in the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), in Rosedale, N.Y. From 1994 through 1997, Judge Davis-Gumbs served as special assistant/litigation coordinator for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, DOJ, in New York, N.Y. From 1993 through 1994, Judge Davis-Gumbs served as a law clerk, and from 1988 through 1993, as an inmate grievance counselor in the Trial Unit, New York City Department of Corrections. Judge Davis-Gumbs is a member of the New York Bar.

Deciding Asylum Cases

Detailed data on decisions by Judge Davis-Gumbs were examined for the period covering fiscal years 2018 through 2023. During this period, court records show that Judge Davis-Gumbs decided 298 asylum claims on their merits. Of these, he granted asylum for 70, granted 26 other types of relief, and denied relief to 202. Converted to percentage terms, Davis-Gumbs denied 67.8 percent and granted 32.2 percent of asylum cases (including forms of relief other than asylum).

Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Davis-Gumbs's denial rate each fiscal year over this recent period. (Rates for years with less than 25 decisions are not shown.)

Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied

Nationwide Comparisons

Compared to Judge Davis-Gumbs's denial rate of 67.8 percent, Immigration Court judges across the country denied 60.6 percent of asylum claims during this same period. Judges at the Dallas Immigration Court where Judge Davis-Gumbs decided these cases denied asylum 73.6 percent of the time. See Figure 2.

Judge Davis-Gumbs's asylum grant and denial rates are compared with other judges serving on the same court in this table. Note that when an Immigration Judge serves on more than one court during the same period, separate Immigration Judge reports are created for any Court in which the judge rendered at least 100 asylum decisions.

Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)

Why Do Denial Rates Vary Among Judges?

Although denial rates are shaped by each Judge's judicial philosophy, denial rates are also shaped by other factors, such as the types of cases on the Judge's docket, the detained status of immigrant respondents, current immigration policies, and other factors beyond an individual Judge's control. For example, TRAC has previously found that legal representation and the nationality of the asylum seeker are just two factors that appear to impact asylum decision outcomes.

The composition of cases may differ significantly between Immigration Courts in the country. Within a single Court when cases are randomly assigned to judges sitting on that Court, each Judge should have roughly a similar composition of cases given a sufficient number of asylum cases. Then variations in asylum decisions among Judges on the same Immigration Court would appear to reflect, at least in part, the judicial philosophy that the Judge brings to the bench. However, if judges within a Court are assigned to specialized dockets or hearing locations, then case compositions are likely to continue to differ and can contribute to differences in asylum denial rates.


When asylum seekers are not represented by an attorney, almost all of them (80%) are denied asylum. In contrast, a significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful. In the case of Judge Davis-Gumbs, 38.9% were not represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole, about 15.7% of asylum seekers are not represented.

Figure 3: Asylum Seeker Had Representation


Asylum seekers are a diverse group. Over one hundred different nationalities had at least one hundred individuals claiming asylum decided during this period. As might be expected, immigration courts located in different parts of the country tend to have proportionately larger shares from some countries than from others. And, given the required legal grounds for a successful asylum claim, asylum seekers from some nations tend to be more successful than others.

The largest group of asylum seekers appearing before Judge Davis-Gumbs came from El Salvador. Individuals from this country made up 18.1% of his caseload. Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Davis-Gumbs were: Honduras (12.4%), Mexico (11.7%), Guatemala (8.1%), Venezuela (8.1%). See Figure 4.

In the nation as a whole during this same period, major nationalities of asylum seekers, in descending order of frequency, were El Salvador (16.6%), Guatemala (15.1%), Honduras (13.8%), Mexico (9.2%), China (6.8%), India (5.1%), Venezuela (3.2%), Ecuador (3.1%), Cuba (2.4%), Nicaragua (2.3%), Brazil (2.0%), Colombia (1.4%), Cameroon (1.4%).

Figure 4: Asylum Decisions by Nationality
TRAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit data research center affiliated with the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School of Management, both at Syracuse University. For more information, to subscribe, or to donate, contact trac@syr.edu or call 315-443-3563.